Amazon-backed Deliveroo cuts IPO target range after investor backlash


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LONDON – Food delivery start-up Deliveroo has cut the price of its shares ahead of its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

The Amazon-backed company announced Monday that it will now sell shares for £3.90 ($5.40) to £4.10 each instead of £3.90 to £4.60 each. As a result, Deliveroo’s market cap will be between £7.6 billion and £7.8 billion instead of between £7.6 billion and £8.8 billion.

It comes after several large investors said they plan to shun the Deliveroo IPO on April 7 over workers’ rights and the company’s share ownership structure, which gives CEO Will Shu over 50% of the voting rights.

The U.K.’s largest fund manager, Legal and General Investment Management, which manages over £1.3 trillion in assets, said it probably won’t be involved, citing concerns around the gig economy that Deliveroo operates in and the company’s share ownership structure. Aberdeen Standard and Aviva Investors, which manage over £800 billion between them, said they’re concerned about Deliveroo workers’ rights, while M&G Investments said it is also planning to skip on the IPO.

It also comes after the Independent Worker’s Union for Great Britain pointed out that some of Deliveroo’s riders can earn less than £2 an hour, while Shu was set to net up to £530 million in the IPO.

Deliveroo rebuffs accusations it does not treat its riders properly and says that its platform gives them the flexibility to work when they want, as do rivals like Just Eat and UberEats. It says riders earn £13 per hour on average during the busiest times.

Deliveroo has offered to pay loyal couriers a bonus of between £200 and £10,000 in the IPO, with the average payout being £440. However, disgruntled riders held a strike in London on Sunday.

Deliveroo insisted that the share price reduction had nothing to do with the investor backlash and the union action, insisting it is purely down to market conditions. It pointed out that four out of six U.S. tech IPOs priced last week are below offer price.

“Given volatile global market conditions for IPOs, Deliveroo is choosing to price responsibly within the initial range and at an entry point that maximizes long-term value for our new institutional and retail investors,” a Deliveroo spokesperson said.

They added that Deliveroo has seen strong demand from investors worldwide but declined to specify which ones. “The deal is covered multiple times throughout the range, led by three highly respected anchor investors,” the spokesperson said.

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